This past year marked 40 years of business for deJonghe Original Jewelry. Family-owned and operated, deJonghe Original Jewelry has been a staple in the Saratoga community since they opened in 1982 on Caroline Street. Well-known for their uniquely handcrafted jewelry and exceptional customer service, deJonghe Original Jewelry has a story worth celebrating.
The Humble Beginnings
Dennis deJonghe, owner and jewelry designer, has always been artistic. His strong work ethic and attention to detail was instilled in him at a young age by his father. With dreams of becoming an art teacher, Dennis pursued a master’s degree in art. After taking his first jewelry class, he began making and selling jewelry in college. With limited teaching opportunities available at the time, Dennis and his wife Peg decided to travel the country selling their jewelry at craft fairs and galleries. They attended a craft fair at the Washington County Fairgrounds and quickly fell in love with the nearby City of Saratoga Springs. At this time, they were ready to open a brick and mortar store. In 1982, they signed a lease for a small shop on Caroline Street. A few successful years later, deJonghe Original Jewelry relocated to their current home at 470 Broadway in 1988.
Made Locally vs. Mass Produced
What sets deJonghe Original Jewelry apart from other jewelry stores is that they are local artisans creating jewelry using old world methods in their Saratoga studio. Customers appreciate that their jewelry is designed and made right here! When shopping at deJonghe Original Jewelry, you’re not purchasing jewelry that is mass produced. The deJonghe family regard the quality of craftsmanship and materials as equal to the integrity of the design. They also have a connection with their customers that is shared from generation to generation. Their jewelry is worn and loved and then handed down as heirlooms, which is part of the reason they believe they’ve been around for 40 years!
Love for the Local Community
One of the main objectives of deJonghe Original Jewelry has always been to support and promote creativity. Dennis is active in the Saratoga Springs community, serving as past president of the Downtown Business Association, founding member of the Saratoga County Arts Council, executive board member of the former New York Craft Association, a 10-year chairperson of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, and Dennis was instrumental in the development of the Saratoga Rowing Association. He continues to be involved in the Saratoga community through various charities and local events.
How Saratoga Has Changed Over 40 Years
What makes Saratoga charming is the Victorian architecture and history, vibrant arts community, unique small businesses, proximity to the beautiful Adirondacks, and multiple tourist attractions. Local business owners are hugely invested in this community and preserving its historic charm. According to Dennis, Saratoga has been referred to as "the town within the city,” and he never wants to lose that.
Saratoga has grown immensely over the past 40 years and is no longer just a summer destination. Our city streets are busy year round! Another contributing factor to Saratoga's growth has been the Saratoga Springs City Center and the conventions they bring to town. After people visit and discover that Saratoga offers unique shopping and dining, they want to return and bring their families.
What Saratoga Means to Dennis deJonghe
While tourism is a huge factor in Saratoga, Dennis believes the locals are vital to the city’s success. “Local businesses are supported by customers who are the teachers of our children, the firefighter down the street, the sports coach of our kids, the small business owner next door, etc.” said deJonghe. “We live in and support our local community. We've raised our three children here and now they've chosen Saratoga as their home to raise their children.”